Seattle mayor to nominate Ottawa’s Saad Bashir as CTO

Mayor Jenny Durkan is expected to nominate Ottawa's outgoing chief information officer as Seattle's new chief technology officer.
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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is expected to nominate Saad Bashir as the city’s chief technology officer at Seattle City Hall on Tuesday, a city spokesperson confirmed to StateScoop.

Bashir, who will end his career with Ottawa’s city government this month, will take over as the city’s lead technology official if confirmed. As CTO, Bashir would lead a team of more than 750 employees working in IT roles for the city, direct IT services to support more than 12,000 city employees, and oversee all of the government’s technology services.

Saad Bashir

Saad Bashir (Saad Bashir / LinkedIn)

Ottawa’s corporate services manager, Mariana Simulik, announced Bashir’s departure during a city council meeting last week. Bashir has worked as the chief information officer for Ottawa, Canada, since 2016, and oversaw an annual budget of about $55 million and a team of 300 full-time equivalent staff, the Ottowa Citizen reports. Bashir was also in charge of the city’s economic development branch for six years prior, according to his LinkedIn profile.


If Bashir takes over as Seattle’s CTO, he will fill a year-long vacancy. Former Seattle CTO Michael Mattmiller left the position to return to the private sector in Jan. 2018, and now works as the director of government affairs at Microsoft. In 2016, Mattmiller oversaw the creation of the Seattle’s Information Technology Department under former Mayor Ed Murray. The new department aimed to centralize IT governance formerly dispersed across city agencies.

Tracye Cantrell has served as interim CTO since Mattmiller’s departure.

Betsy Foresman

Written by Betsy Foresman

Betsy Foresman was an education reporter for EdScoop from 2018 through early 2021, where she wrote about the virtues and challenges of innovative technology solutions used in higher education and K-12 spaces. Foresman also covered local government IT for StateScoop, on occasion. Foresman graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018 — go Frogs! — with a BA in journalism and psychology. During her senior year, she worked as an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and moved back to the capital after completing her degree because, like Shrek, she feels most at home in the swamp. Foresman previously worked at Scoop News Group as an editorial fellow.

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